Wholesale prices for used cars fell again in April, marking three full months slight cooling after a long record growth last year.

Cox Automotive said on Friday it was Index of the value of used cars in Mannheimtracking vehicles sold at U.S. auctions in Mannheim fell 1 percent in April from March.

Although wholesale prices showed signs of decline, they remained 14 percent higher in April than in the previous period. These figures are adjusted for mixture, mileage and seasonality. On an unadjusted basis, the Mannheim index rose 2.9 percent from the March level, and prices rose 16.4 percent from the same period last year.

Retail prices have not increased, typical of April, when more car buyers refund taxes. In fact, retail prices fell 13 percent from March to April, and they fell 21 percent from the same period last year, according to Cox.

In part, this is because only 68 percent of the potential tax return in 2022 has gone, according to Cox, who based his estimate on IRS data. By the same week in 2019, 97 percent of them had been issued.

Cox estimated that retail deliveries of used cars were 46 days in late April. That’s less than 47 days in late March, but more than 35 days in April 2021. Wholesale deliveries ended in April in 25 days, which is above 23 days in March and more than 16 days in April 2021.

Average wholesale prices for 3-year-old cars for the month rose by 1.7 percent.

Black Book Index

The Black Book Index of maintenance of used cars also fell from month to month. In April, the index fell to 185.4 points, up 2.4 points from March, the Black Book reported on Thursday. However, this is 22 percent more than in April 2021, and 62 percent more than in March 2020.

April wholesale prices fell again for segments of cars from 2 to 8 years included in the index, said Alexei Yurchenko, chief employee of the Black Book according to the data.

However, at the end of the month this trend changed, driven by cars and smaller segments of SUVs, and in the last week of April most smaller cars without luxury, of all ages rose in price, he said.

April saw a “surprising” rise in consumer confidence, although it is still at one of the lowest levels in a decade, Yurchenko said. A small drop in gas prices may soon stimulate increased customer demand for used cars, he said.

According to Yurchenko, solving problems with supply chains affecting the production of new cars in the industry is delayed until 2023, so Black Book expects to see only a moderate decline in prices over the summer, as demand for used cars remains.


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